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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffJ.B. Nicholson-Owens Date: Sep 14, 2005 12:08pm
Forum: forums Subject: Serious ourmedia.org discussion?

Regarding bailing out the ocean: I concur.

Is there an appropriate place to have a serious discussion about problems with ourmedia.org? I've got some points to raise and some questions to ask about ourmedia.org, but I'd like to do so in a way that is fruitful for both ourmedia.org and myself (as someone who has reported multiple copyright infringements carried on archive.org via ourmedia.org).

Please do email me if there is an appropriate place to have such a discussion (perhaps it is here in this thread, for all I know).

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffsimon c Date: Sep 14, 2005 12:28pm
Forum: forums Subject: Re: Serious ourmedia.org discussion?

I think this thread is as good a place as any. I know that the Ourmedia folks recently asked for more volunteers, but other than that, points of view would probably be welcome.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffDiana Hamilton Date: Sep 15, 2005 12:05am
Forum: forums Subject: Re: Serious ourmedia.org discussion?

On that note, since a lot of Ourmedia questions come up over here in random places from archive patrons, would it be worthwhile to activate the forum on this page?
http://www.archive.org/details/ourmedia

A forum could at least serve as a place to post pointers to better places!

(I should prolly ask Tracey...)

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2005-09-15 07:05:18

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Stafftracey pooh Date: Sep 15, 2005 3:40am
Forum: forums Subject: Re: Serious ourmedia.org discussion?

an *excellent* idea, i shall do that now! 8-D

--tracey

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffJ.B. Nicholson-Owens Date: Sep 14, 2005 12:30pm
Forum: forums Subject: Re: Serious ourmedia.org discussion?

Alright, here are my points and questions:

* What is the point of ourmedia.org? What is its relationship to archive.org? It appears to me that ourmedia.org is gratis hosting space where the file hosting and bandwidth comes courtesy of archive.org.

* Perhaps ourmedia.org should set up a staff of people to review items before they are published (akin to archive.org's curators)? Given the high amount of copyright infringements I'm seeing, it looks like posting stuff to ourmedia.org is an effective way to skip past any mediation on archive.org. As I found with the Lady Heartilly Productions stuff, I can't keep up with all of the infringements I'm seeing coming in through ourmedia.org. Chris Barrio (http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Chris%20Barrio%22) is the latest multiple offender I've seen today -- more DVD rips with audio CD rips for sound tracks.

* I host a large number of non-infringing works on archive.org (for which I am very grateful) and I see the value in keeping the archive going (not just for me, but for all of the great stuff available here). I don't want to see archive.org go away and I fear that if a sufficiently well-organized copyright holder brings a lawsuit against archive.org for hosting infringing copies of something the volunteers didn't happen to catch, archive.org's funding will quickly get eaten up in legal costs. Is this a reasonable fear?

* The only saving grace of the high number of copyright infringements I'm seeing come in through ourmedia.org is that multiple infringements are posted under the same user ID (like Lady Heartilly and Chris Barrio). This makes it slightly easier to clear away multiple infringements at once, but clearly we're just seeing a small percentage of it.

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Poster: JD Lasica Date: Sep 14, 2005 2:22pm
Forum: forums Subject: Re: Serious ourmedia.org discussion?

Hi J.B.,

Thanks for the excellent points and concerns you've raised. To take them one by one ...

* What is the point of ourmedia.org? What is its relationship to archive.org? It appears to me that ourmedia.org is gratis hosting space where the file hosting and bandwidth comes courtesy of archive.org.

Ourmedia works with the Internet Archive, but our missions do diverge in many respects. Please see the Mission statement, linked on every page of Ourmedia:

http://www.ourmedia.org/mission

Remember, we're just getting going -- and have done all of this with almost ZERO funding.

* Perhaps ourmedia.org should set up a staff of people to review items before they are published (akin to archive.org's curators)? Given the high amount of copyright infringements I'm seeing, it looks like posting stuff to ourmedia.org is an effective way to skip past any mediation on archive.org. As I found with the Lady Heartilly Productions stuff, I can't keep up with all of the infringements I'm seeing coming in through ourmedia.org. Chris Barrio (http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Chris%20Barrio%22) is the latest multiple offender I've seen today -- more DVD rips with audio CD rips for sound tracks.

It would be impossible to set up a curation staff to approve items -- we don't have any funds for that, and it's antithetical to what people want to do with their personal media: have their podcasts and videoblog videos go live immediately, not in 3-5 days.

You sound like you may not be aware of the rules imposed on online service providers under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. We're following the provisions of the DMCA, and we're awaiting further instructions from our attorneys regarding the liability we might face in aggressively removing every file that may contain copyrighted material. (Yes, we may be sued if we *remove* certain materials. Which is why we abide by the DMCA's safe harbor provisions.)

I can point you to many similar grassroots media sites where they have no moderators or procedure for removing such material. So please cut our volunteer moderators some slack.

We want Ourmedia to remain a home to media created by citizens. The claim that this could become another Napster is without basis. Of more than 30,000 files uploaded, I doubt there are more than several dozen that are even arguably infringing.

And when we receive a complaint from a copyright owner, we immediately remove the file.


* I host a large number of non-infringing works on archive.org (for which I am very grateful) and I see the value in keeping the archive going (not just for me, but for all of the great stuff available here). I don't want to see archive.org go away and I fear that if a sufficiently well-organized copyright holder brings a lawsuit against archive.org for hosting infringing copies of something the volunteers didn't happen to catch, archive.org's funding will quickly get eaten up in legal costs. Is this a reasonable fear?


No, it's not a reasonable fear. We're protected from such suits under the DMCA. A copyright holder would have to request that we remove a file before instituting a lawsuit. None has.

Brewster Kahle, the Archive's founder and chief executive, is on Ourmedia's Board of Trustees.

* The only saving grace of the high number of copyright infringements I'm seeing come in through ourmedia.org is that multiple infringements are posted under the same user ID (like Lady Heartilly and Chris Barrio). This makes it slightly easier to clear away multiple infringements at once, but clearly we're just seeing a small percentage of it.

We have a Community Watch page where we report the results of violations of our Site Rules. So you can see the kinds of materials we've been removing over the months:

http://www.ourmedia.org/community/watch

-- JD Lasica, Executive Director, Ourmedia.org

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffDiana Hamilton Date: Sep 14, 2005 11:47pm
Forum: forums Subject: Re: Serious ourmedia.org discussion?

liability we might face in aggressively removing every file that may contain copyrighted material. (Yes, we may be sued if we *remove* certain materials.

Hi JD, thanks for the informative reply! Wow, the ramifications of the DMCA are much crazier than I realized. :P

I can point you to many similar grassroots media sites where they have no moderators or procedure for removing such material. So please cut our volunteer moderators some slack.

I'd definitely like to make it as smooth as possible for the moderators! Can you summarize the most efficient way for us "concerned users" to work with them using the procedures you have?

This morning I see a bunch of replies to various reports I submitted yesterday, regarding commercial video or audio material (either combined, or straight clips or say, TV theme songs or song rips from popular albums). First time I've gotten so much feedback! Here is a sample of responses:

Re whether to use the "report abuse" or "deletion request" forms: "The abuse form is the most appropriate method to communicate such media items to us. They are stored in a different queue and are looked at by a different group of volunteers." So that's clear from now on.

But then, which items shall we continue to report?

Various responses to my individual reports:
"Items such as this, a "mash-up" of materials, may be permitted by Fair Use guidelines. It is our policy to allow items similar to remain on Ourmedia unless a copyright owner requests they be removed."

"We have looked into this users content and taken appropriate actions."

"We have started a review of content posted by this user."

"We will review this users content."

So extrapolating from the responses: If we see a combination of commercial audio/video, should we not bother to report, or 2 popular songs combined, should we not report, but if they are "straight" rips of the primary audio or video from a DVD or CD, we should?

And when we receive a complaint from a copyright owner, we immediately remove the file.

So would it help for us to be pinging the copyright owners to contact Ourmedia? In one recent example, archive users looking for Jason Mraz concerts at the Live Music Archive here through the search engine *also* pulled up a rip of Jason's latest album. Fans apparently talked about it on the artist's messageboard. Would it have been more efficient to explain to Mraz's management there on the board how to request deletion, or for a concerned fan just to report abuse to Ourmedia?

Then, would the situation have been different had Jason's album been presented as a user-generated soundtrack to an anime episode?

We have a Community Watch page where we report the results of violations of our Site Rules. So you can see the kinds of materials we've been removing over the months:

http://www.ourmedia.org/community/watch


On that page, are those just selected/representative examples, or is it the complete list of removals?

Thanks again for taking the time to straighten us out on all this- sure is rough terrain!

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2005-09-15 06:47:15

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffJ.B. Nicholson-Owens Date: Oct 2, 2005 3:31am
Forum: forums Subject: Why bother finding and reporting copyright infringements?

"I'd definitely like to make it as smooth as possible for the moderators! Can you summarize the most efficient way for us "concerned users" to work with them using the procedures you have?"

I'm stuck on a more basic question: why should anyone want to find and report infringing works?

Talking about the mechanics of doing this job without first covering whether the job should be done at all seems to me to put the cart before the horse.

I read the Ourmedia.org Community Watch page (http://www.ourmedia.org/community/watch) but I didn't see anything explain why moderation or policing should be done. It just says that Ourmedia depends on volunteers, members, and users to do it and that by doing the job they will help "protect [their] community". There's a bit about whether it's possible to do community policing, but the "vested interest in policing itself" goes unjustified; the text doesn't say what the community will be protected from, particularly in the context of coming across material that infringes upon someone's copyright.

According to the grandparent post, finding and reporting copyright infringements is hard to do correctly, the number of infringing entries currently hosted on archive.org is low, and archive.org is in no danger of going away as a result of spending money fighting legal battles. Maybe I'm missing something, but those seem like strong disincentives to anyone putting any effort into finding and reporting copyright infringements, even in instances where the infringement is clear to the layperson (like ripped and encoded tracks from major studio CDs).

Thanks for your time.